F1 »

Perez-Sala positive after eight months at the helm

HRT team boss Luis Perez-Sala says he is satisfied with the way his first eight months in the job have gone.
Luis Perez-Sala insists that he is satisfied with the way his first eight months in the role of team principal at HRT have gone, despite the Spanish team still being firmly rooted to the back of the F1 grid.

The former Minardi driver was a somewhat surprising nomination for the job after Thesan Capital acquired the team from Jose Carabante midway through 2011, and admits that he was horrified with what he saw when he first attended a race [see story here], but has systematically set about reviewing every element of the operation in a bid to make it a credible member of the F1 fraternity.

Having lured Pedro de la Rosa away from a comfortable position as McLaren test driver to be the first part of a Spanish makeover of the squad, Perez-Sala has since overseen a move to Madrid's iconic Caja Magica, which replaced Valencia as the team's new base and pulled together a previously disparate operation that had been scattered across Europe under Colin Kolles' stewardship. Unsurprisingly, the Spaniard feels content with what he has achieved.

"My assessment couldn't be more positive," he emphasised, "Our start to the season was complicated. As we've already said on multiple occasions, we've almost changed the entire team, we've moved to a new headquarters, where we've been based since early April, and all of this whilst we built a new car.

"It was a very ambitious challenge, but we've made it with very limited resources. Once we settled in, from April and May onwards, we started to get a race rhythm going. It's safe to say we've encountered some very intense months where the team has given its all, because we've been able to carry out everything we set out to do. I came with an open mind and ready to tackle anything that was thrown at me, [and] we have accomplished the targets we set ourselves, which were none other than to carry out the great structural change which we've done and start to have the necessary stability to be able to grow.

"This is a target that seems modest but it has implied a radical change. Towards the end of 2011, the decision was made to move the headquarters to Spain, create a new car and have an initial standard that would enable us to be within the 107 per cent comfortably, to then grow from there. And we have achieved all of that, so we can say that we've accomplished our objectives. Now we must set ourselves new ones."

Despite operating on a smaller budget than its rivals, even those with which it is directly competing - a recent report claimed that HRT's financial clout was only 50 per cent that of fellow 2010 start-up Caterham - Perez-Sala still has ambitions for his team, although he is aware that growth can only happen gradually.

"From here, the most important and complicated challenge is to continue growing in the right direction, optimising our resources, and getting the car to perform better," he revealed, "This is the hardest thing because, whilst other teams have a consolidated structure, we're still in a transition period. In that sense, they've also got an advantage over us.

"Because we have limited human and economic resources, that means that the upgrade plan has to be very clear and whatever we introduce will result in an important difference. It really has to represent a step forwards. The most complicated thing now is to not be dropped off by the other teams whilst we finish defining our own team and evolve and prepare the future."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ma Qing Hua (CHN) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) F112 Test Driver.  12.07.2012. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day 1, Silverstone, England.
27.07.2012- Free Practice 2, Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
27.07.2012- Free Practice 1, Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
09.06.2012- Qualifying, Luiz Pérez Sala, HRT
16.07.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
16.07.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
28.05.2017 - Race, Adriana Lima (BRA) Model and Carmen Jorda (ESP) Renault Sport Formula One Team Development Driver
Maria de la Rosa (ESP) at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
Maria de la Rosa (ESP) at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
13.04.2017 - Luis Garcia Abad (ESP), manager of Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
09.04.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
Elio de Angelis
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
22.10.2016 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid pole position and Rosa Salazar, Actress
22.10.2016 - Qualifying, Rosa Salazar, Actress
22.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Rosa Bianca Salazar (USA), actress
Andrea de Cesaris - Minardi (Brands Hatch)
31.07.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.